Child rape trial hears boy’s sexualised behaviour became directed towards animals
A foster parent of a child who was allegedly raped by his father and forced to have sex with his mother has told a trial she had to go for counselling after the child left her home because of “the horrendous stuff “ she listened to.
The now 12 year old boy was taken into care when he was eight before moving to the foster home of the witness in March 2012.
During her fourth day of evidence at the Central Criminal Court, the foster mother told the jury that the child's "sexualised behaviour got more and more" and that is why he had to go for therapy in 2013.
The boy has previously alleged his father raped him, sexually abused him with a hot poker and forced him to have sex with his mother over the course of several years from when he was about six years old in their Waterford home.
The father is alleged to have filmed some of these incidents and shown them to others. He is further alleged to have held a gun to the child's head and to have left him locked in a box.
The parents face a total of 82 charges of abuse between 2007 and 2011 in Waterford. The father and mother have pleaded not guilty to 16 counts each of sexual exploitation and one charge each of child cruelty.
The mother has also denied 16 counts of sexual assault while the father denies 16 counts of anal rape and 16 counts of sexual assault with a poker.
The foster mother told defence counsel John O'Kelly SC, who represents the child's mother, that he was "a particular needy child" who "needed reassurance he was safe."
"He always worried if he told me something I would stop loving him. We reassured him there was nothing he could say that would stop us loving him," she said.
The foster mother agreed with counsel that she took her duties as a foster mother "very seriously."
The court heard that the foster mother made daily log entries when she had something to report about the child's behaviour.
She told the jury that one evening when herself and the child were watching a movie, he was messing and she started to tickle him on the neck and chest.
The child told her that the tickling reminded him of his dad tickling him and how he would then proceed to tickle his penis.
The foster mother told Pauline Walley SC, prosecuting, that she had to go for counselling after the child left her home because of "the horrendous stuff" she had to listen to.”
She agreed with Ms Walley that the child got very upset in November 2012 when they were watching a Harry Potter movie and the character "Dobby got stabbed." The court heard that this caused the child to remember the time his father allegedly stabbed him in the leg and in the back of the hand.
The foster mother agreed with Ms Walley that the child's "sexualised behaviour" increased in 2013 and was directed towards animals.
"I found out he had been interfering with the dogs outside the house, he had been sticking his fingers up their bum. I heard one dog squeal and he said he was doing nothing and he had his hands behind his back. He also lay down on top of one of dogs and was grinding up and down on top of it," she said.
When asked by Ms Walley in re-examination if she believed the child's allegations of abuse, the foster mother said she did because of his "demeanour"when telling her.
"It's in the way the child collapsed, he shrunk into himself. He wouldn’t be able to catch his breath as he was crying to himself. He was breaking down in my arms completely, I do believe what the child told me happened to him at home.”
The trial continues on Tuesday before Mr Justice Robert Eagar and a jury.